The list this year for the Richard and Judy WHSMITH bookclub is really impressive and we review the second batch of four in brief to help you choose your next read from the list.
England – Sussex
The Bones of You
This is the ultimate – you don’t know what goes on behind closed doors kind of novel. The one where you’re thinking some people have the most perfect lives until you realise differently. The village life in England seems perfect, the fact that the missing girl has a nice family life, people go horse riding together etc
This is more of a character study than a booktrail book but it’s the family insight was what got me. What you think you see and what actually exists. How appearances can be deceptive. It’s a bit like Lovely Bones too as the dead girl Rosie talks to you the reader from time to time and describes events that Kate, a neighbour and friend is finding out.
A man praying on lone female drivers in LA – and acting as a Samaritan is the ultimate monster really when you thin about it. someone who seems to want to help and then does the exact opposite.
I think what made it even more of a thriller was the fact that the locations – LA and the Santa Monica mountains are the very palaces that would be scary to drive through on your own. I think everyone not just women is scared of something happening like this. The hunt for the person responsible is a real thriller and the reveal of the victims and how and why this is being done… well when you read about Carter Blake and the ways he sets about tracking down the Samaritan was a road trip that was very violent in place and sickening to a large extent but the thriller thread wove all the way through for me.
Not so much a booktrail but a novel all about family, ghosts of the past and people. A house opens up it doors for a viewing and the woman who lives there guides him round with each room revealing a secret or two as well as many memories. The house transports her back to her early life and the fifty so years she’s lived in the house. As well as the boxes of possessions, she’s packing away the memories and nostalgia as well and this is harder to let go off. Some are nice memories to recall whilst others not so much.
Edwina is not the only one with a claim to this house though – others in the family tell their story and the house suddenly takes on more colour, fabric of their lives and the tears and holes within
The house is a major character itself and written with the wit, charm of Jenny Eclair, this is a real winner for me. I could hear her talk as I read the book and am sure this really gave it the edge!
Europe – in a forest..
Our Endless Numbered Days
It was the fairytale aspect of the story which got me in the first place. The idea of the Hansel and Gretel cottage in the middle of the forest where a girl is taken by her father to live. The forest is huge and dark and they have to find food by foraging like animals, killing and hunting to survive. The Girl, Peggy is only 8 and has been told by her father who is a survivalist, that the end of the world is nigh. There are still people who live like this in America – who prepare for the end and the hut is going to be their salvation. Life is good for a while but the reasons for his rift with his wife and the hardship of having to life so basic, the mindset of the father himself becomes even more harsh and difficult. The story is told by Peggy as she grows up and I was shocked at the end. This was a dark fairytale with lots of hidden meaning and a reason not to go into the woods anytime soon.
Susan and Clare